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Fair and Balanced Complaints About the FOX-Dish Blackout

FOX news blackoutIt’s the second day of the FOX News blackout on Dish Network and things are getting heated on social media. Fox viewers are a dedicated set. Fox has a Facebook page: “Keep FOX News,” urging customers to find another provider and call Dish to complain. According to reports:

According to Fox, they have received over 12,000 calls about the blackout, with 7,000 asking to be connected to Dish to disconnect their service. The network also states  22,000 viewer emails have been sent to Dish about the blackout, with reports of viewers inundating the Dish Facebook page with complaints.

Neither company is taking the highroad and the finger pointing only fuels the complaints. Though looking at how it went down, it looks like Fox pulled the signal. Read more

Checked Out: TVTag (Formerly GetGlue) to Shut Down

tvtagPeople like checking into bars, restaurants, airports, and clothing stores. They don’t, however, like checking into TV shows.

In an email to users on Friday, tvtag - formerly GetGlue – announced that it would be shutting down its services effective January 1, 2015. Last January we wrote: “Not so long ago, the GetGlue brand name and app was considered one of the most promising social TV platforms. Now, their new owners i.TV are continuing to announce radical changes to the brand.”

At first, GetGlue did have cache and was synonymous with second screen apps. But GetGlue and tvtag were the ‘Community’ of apps, kept afloat by only a small subset of super users. And, like ‘Community’ fans, when GetGlue announced a change to their sticker program last December these loyalists started an impassioned social media campaign. Read more

Social TV Year-in-Review: VH1 Vice President of On-Air + Multi-Platform Creative Dave Perry

mob-wivesThe below post is part of our 2014 Social TV Year-in-Review guest post series and is written by VH1 Vice President of On-Air + Multi-Platform Creative Dave Perry

Beware Social TV: Time-Shifting Has Arrived

The prevailing strategy for social TV, for many years, has been to focus on engaging audiences during the broadcast premiere. This is logical, as it’s where the eyeballs are and more importantly, theoretically helps achieve the paramount goal of a strong premiere rating. Win win: eyeballs + engagement = stronger ratings. However, viewer consumption behavior is evolving rapidly, challenging the very nature of social TV as we know it. In fact, HBO just announced that it won’t be releasing overnight ratings any longer. Instead, they’re going to publish them two weeks after a premiere. HBO’s message is loud and clear – our viewers are watching their favorite content when they please. Ladies and Gentlemen, 2014 is the year that “time-shifting” officially arrived – and it’s hitting on your girlfriend.

Time-shifting, and all the freedom it has afforded loyal viewers, has liberated precious eyeballs from the traditional confines of broadcast schedules. Consequently, a new challenge to those of us who strive to engage viewers while watching TV has arisen, forcing us to address this question: how do you engage an audience that is not in the same place, time, or medium?

As recently as a few years ago, the biggest problem a broadcaster faced when creating a social TV experience was overcoming the fact that there was no choice but to ignore the West Coast (Sorry LA friends, love ya, mean it). But now, time-shifting even by 10 minutes can ruin a show if you’re co-viewing on social, let alone if you decide to watch the show later that very night. For me, a father of two small kids, the amount of live viewing I do is few and far between, unless of course it’s for “work,” and even then I get a sideways glare from my wife. (#loveyouRachel)

But this is the reality we live in now. From inconsiderate spoilers by fans, to even the occasional snafu by a network’s social team (#RIPBeth), it’s harder and harder to engage with social TV in a time-shifted universe.

So, how do we contend with this real and growing “space-time” problem? As I see it, here are our options…

#IgnorthernExposure

We could ignore the problem, and continue to consider the “live audience” (the Livelys) as the more premium set; separate, distinct, from the less valuable “time-shifted” (the Shifters). What we’re basically saying is, “forget those pesky Shifters and their resistance to arranging their lives around our broadcast schedules. I’m only going to cater to the Livelys.” But as the Shifter audience continues to grow (which is a challenge the industry asked for), this proposition will eventually yield diminishing returns, becoming more than the mere annoyance that it is now. So, feel free to ignore this for now, but at your own peril… Read more

Jimmy Kimmel Keeps the Holiday Spirit Alive in This Week’s Top 5 TV clips on 5by

5byIn this week’s installment of our partnership with 5by, the video discovery and messaging platform that curates the web’s best viral videos, we take a look at the top five videos of the week from the platform’s TV category. For background on the videos selected, Theo Tabah, 5by’s Head of Content:

In the ‘naughty or nice’ segment, Jimmy Kimmel and Guillermo play elves and judge two siblings on whether or not they made Santa’s nice list. Cuteness ensues. In another viral hit, racking up over 2 million views in a few short days, the annual prank feud between Jimmy and John Krasinski escalated to new heights. Bottom line, legendary prank by John (with a little help from Emily Blunt).

SNL put on one of their best skits of the year this week. With the release of the new Hobbit movie, ‘Hobbit Office’ involves all of your favorite J.R.R. Tolkien characters with modern day office jobs. Gold.

On Ellen, Kevin Hart and Josh Gad recount Josh’s first trip to a ‘black strip club’. Kevin Hart proves there is no better story teller than him.

Finally, Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake reunite to sing some 90′s Smash Mouth as teenage campers. These two are the epitome of harmony.

Read more

Social Scoreboard: Thursday, December 18

The last episode of “The Colbert Report” topped the Nielsen Twitter ratings last night. “At Midnight,” “Conan,” and “Jimmy Fallon” also made the cut. “Beyond Scared Straight” rounded out the evening.

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Friday Links: HLN’s Big Plan, Aereo Problems, and Colbert

stephen colbertWe were way too busy reading about the Sony leaks to cover everything this week. We’re sorry. Here are some good stories you can catch up on this weekend.

1) Gigaom on how broadcasters are still trying to mess with Aereo. Get this: “According to bankruptcy court filings, the broadcasters believe that an asset sale could deprive them of the ability to collect copyright damages related to Aereo’s services.” Maybe I’m a bad capitalist, but I need a minute to bang my head against my keyboard.

Ok, let’s carry on.

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Social TV Year-in-Review: Tumblr Head of Media Sima Sistani

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The below post is part of our 2014 Social TV Year-in-Review guest post series and is written by Tumblr Head of Media Sima Sistani.

TV is not social.

When watching ‘The Good Wife’ I require complete silence.

My husband enters the room: “Eli is the best part of this show.”

Me: “SHHHHHHH!!!” as I simultaneously rewind to the moment he dared to speak up.

I won’t even eat chips during my favorite shows because the crunching interferes. For the longest time I believed myself to be outside the norm, or just old; the kids today are using a second screen to talk about their shows! Since 2010 I have been championing that notion with real conviction. I use a second screen, but only when it’s a show I don’t really care about – probably something my husband is forcing me to sit through – and that second screen is devoted mostly to emails unless I happen to be mocking whatever I’m watching. Whereas, if it’s a show I love, there is no way I’m diverting my attention.

I was not alone, and with anecdotal evidence building up, I started to chip away at my own theories about second screen behavior. Bolstered by several academic and research reports, I realized that I am in the majority (thankfully I’m not just old, yet). My first clue should have been that if there were someone game for a real time social TV conversation, it would be me! I’m an early adopter, good at multi-tasking, and I really love TV. And there is the rub – TV is still a lean back experience for true fans of the medium.

But what of the digital water cooler you say? Oh, it’s alive and well, but for scripted television programming (with the caveat of sports and award shows which have lots of downtime), the most meaningful conversations are happening outside of the narrow broadcast window. Fans pay attention to their show while watching it, and then extoll its virtues afterward. According to Pulsar, 61% of the engagement happens outside the broadcast window. Not to mention, I’m rarely watching my shows in real time with other fans because, like a growing number of viewers, I’m watching in a time-shifted setting – whenever and wherever is convenient for me. Read more

Social Scoreboard: Wednesday, December 17

“American Horror Story: Freak Show” tops the Nielsen Twitter ratings for last night. But holiday spirit trumps all: NBC’s “Michael Buble’s Christmas in New York,” and the “WWE: Tribute to the Troops” made third and fourth. “Survivor” and NBC’s “The Sing Off” rounded out the evening.

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Partnership With Pronto Signals Peel’s Future Plans

Video_backgroundAt CES 2015, Philips – in partnership with smart remote technology company Peel – will launch the newest version of the connected home entertainment product Pronto.

Universal remotes have been in existence for decades, but technologically they have made limited advancements. Now, utilizing Peel’s platform, Pronto can be accessed with an iPhone and will allow consumers to check their cable TV guides without turning on the TV, show them which programs are trending on Twitter, and provide content recommendations. The Pronto is palm-sized and synchs with iPhones via Bluetooth to maximize phone battery life.

For Peel, the Pronto partnership is an important development. Peel’s technology is pre-loaded on most Android-based phones, but Pronto is a conduit for Peel to be used via iPhones and for more devices than just TVs. At launch, Pronto with Peel can be used to control more than 3,000 entertainment devices, including all major TV brands such as Samsung, LG, Sony, Philips, Vizio, Panasonic and Toshiba.

Joiz Founder Talks T-Commerce and ‘Flirt Kitchen’

joiz logoJoiz launched in Europe in 2011 as a digital television channel that integrated social media and mobile elements into its programming. And now it wants in on the North American market as a social television destination. Founder Alexander Mazzara sat down with me in between panels at a very busy TV of Tomorrow Show in New York City earlier this month to talk about what they do.

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